Boppin' at the Laundromat, a piece for Jazz Ensemble featuring Oboe and Tuba soloists, is a programmatic story. The first idea to come to mind was the dissonant chord (m. 16, m. 24, m. 32, etc.) intended to emulate a dryer buzzer. From there, a story began to take shape.
An attractive gentleman (tuba) approaches the counter at his local laundromat (m. 17), looking to have some of his clothes washed. Soon after, an attractive lady (oboe) approaches the counter along with the man (m. 23), and they notice each other. The mutual attraction is palpable, illustrated with arpeggios in triplets in the piano and vibes (m. 33). Their clothes washing questions are resolved, and they take their seats, nearby each other, of course. The small talk begins.
Just then, some noisier patrons enter (brass), completing the laundering atmosphere. A high trumpet lick (m. 61) is the ever present obnoxious laughter that always seems to have an outburst at the most inopportune time. The following solo section (m. 66) is a lull in the superficial conversation of the lady and gentleman, where each is left to their own thoughts.
Suddenly (m. 78), the conversation begins anew, with a more personal and profound interaction between them. All the while, the other launderers continue their carrying on. At measure 121, the man’s dryer finishes, followed soon after by the woman’s (m. 122), and the pair go their separate ways. Their story to be completed in the mind of the listener.
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